I just peace read talks for the second time. I think that the Dresden Files is the best urban fantasy series in existence. It has incredible pacing, great character development and true believability. I especially like that Jim doesn't leave out religion, as most other fantasy authors do. If an urban fantasy is believable it has to take religion into account. It wouldn't make sense to say that humans have lived side-by-side with the supernatural for millenia, but the people most concerned with the supernatural know nothing about it.
Having said that, I think that Jim Butcher makes the same mistake with religion/faith that Gordon Dickson does in his Dorsai/Childe Cycle. He treats faith as if the belief itself - true or false - is more important than the object of the faith. He thinks that belief in Jesus is equivalent to belief in the Star Wars Jedi Force. It is fine for the author to believe this, these authors put these beliefs into the mouths of their faith holders.
Now faith-as-a-force is a defensible position, if you are an agnostic or atheist or humanist. A non-theist can take the humanist position that a human's belief is the most powerful force he can imagine. But what both Dickson and Butcher do is have their faith-holders state this position as if they believe that faith is more important than truth. Dickson and Butcher have faith holders exhalting their own faith above God, himself.
This is not how we believers think !!! and again I say !!!
Well, I will qualify that. There are some Rhema Bible Institute/Joel Osteen types out there who think that we can name it/claim it/blab it/grab it and be little gods ourselves if we just will "speak the word." But traditional Christians are rightly disgusted by this "ye will be as gods" stuff.
Traditional Christians (and especially, I would say believing Catholics) would never say that belief in The Jedi Force equivalent to belief in Christ. We would never say that Luke Skywalker is as great as Saint Paul. To say that would be to deny our own faith.
You see, faith is the complete confidence, the certainty, that Truth/Veritas/Logos is eventually available not just to us, but to everyone. Either Jesus is God's only begotten Son and he is everyone's God, or he is just another one of the many grandiose demigod heroes with bipolar disease. If I believe the latter, then I am not a Christian (by definition), if I believe the first, then I cannot simultaneously believe that the Jedi Force is equivalent to the Holy Spirit without some severe cognitive dissonance disrupting my own mental health.
Now, a believer can believe that God has not yet revealed the fullness of Truth/Veritas/Logos to anyone, even myself. I can believe that a self-proclaimed Jedi Knight is following God's path to eventual truth, but that eventual truth must be Jesus.
Now let me emphasize what I am not saying. I am not saying that "all paths lead to God" - that Jesus and Obi-Wan Kenobi are just on different paths to eventual truth. You may believe this - many intelligent people do - but that is not a Christian belief and no Christian would express it. It is a Humanist belief, a belief that human longing for truth is the most important thing and God values the longing for truth, not his Only Begotton Son. Christianity and Humanism are not compatible TO A CHRISTIAN. I want to make this clear, a humanist can believe humanism and christianity are both "relatively true" and may make a claim that he or she is a christian in the sense that they believe that Christ was on a path to truth, but a Christian believes that Christ is the ultimate truth and all other sincere paths lead only to him.
In the Dresden Files, Michael is presented as a Christian, not a humanist. And yet, Butcher puts words in Michael's mouth that no Christian would utter.
Now, I understand how both Butcher and Gordon make this mistake. They admire their faith-holders and therefore they put the author's humanist beliefs and words into the faith-holders mouths. But these words ring false and every believer cringes every time they read them.